Tunnels and Bridges

The management of key road links and crossings typically covers everything from the maintenance of traffic flow to the efficient handling of emergency situations.

Tunnels and bridges, however, present very specific problems of their own, often unique to each installation.

VMS offers a range of special purpose electronic signs to make control facilities available to the tunnel and bridge operator and provide guidance and safety instructions to the user. We see this aspect of traffic management as a natural continuation of the provision of variable message signs for motorway applications and now have considerable experience in developing and providing specialist signs for tunnel and bridge duties.

With RGB (full colour) signs now routinely specified in Europe and the rest of the world, VMS have developed a full colour RGB sign, and a 5-colour RGBWY (red, green, blue, white, yellow) sign. The extra 2 colours guarantee colour stability and ensure compliance with the requirements of the European standard, EN 12966, class 2.

Tunnel applications

A low profile tunnel sign produced for reduced headroom applications.

VMS produce a range of specialist signs for tunnel applications, starting with portal signs for use on the approach and entrance to a tunnel to deliver specific messages.

Lane control signs are used above each traffic lane at the approach or entrance to a tunnel and are repeated at regular intervals inside the tunnel.

Where the speed limit can vary in a tunnel, speed limit repeater indicators are used to allow the tunnel master to vary the speed limit according to traffic and road safety conditions. We can also offer bespoke solutions to specific problems, e.g. low profile signs for reduced headroom applications, and dual-faced signs for use where tunnels must accommodate contra-flow traffic.

VMS tunnel systems are in use at Blackwall, Dartford, Hatfield, Heathrow, and the Tyne Tunnel.

VMS tunnel and bridge systems are used on major bridges around the UK, such as the Forth Road Bridge and the Dartford crossing, and as far a field as New Zealand.

Bridge management

The demands of bridge management and ferry applications can be very similar to tunnel systems with the added problem of environmental conditions. Bridges are often built in exposed locations and can be subjected to extreme weather requiring reliable monitoring and control systems.

ITS (Intelligent Traffic Systems) technology was developed by VMS to meet such demands, pushing the boundaries of radio data communications and introducing novel advisory needs.

The bridge master is provided with the means to detect weather conditions and traffic flow on or near his bridge and, using variable message signs, he can inform drivers of planned maintenance, traffic conditions and exceptional events; for example, full or partial closures due to high winds.

Our systems are now used on major bridges around the UK, such as the Forth Road Bridge and the Dartford crossing, and as far a field as the Auckland Harbour Bridge in New Zealand.

Lane control signal

Lane Control Signals are predominately used on continental Europe where indiv idual lanes of traffic are controlled, as opposed to a larger sign controlling all the motorway lanes.

The upper part of the sign is fully populated with a two-colour fully programmable matrix system, The lower part of the sign is fully populated with yellow LEDs which show the distance to the hazard, as well as having a part populated green section that can display a green arrow.

Features and benefits

  • Available in standard size format
    • upper display of 1280mm by 1280mm
    • lower display of 1280mm x 320mm
  • Fully programmable two colour LED matrix
  • 20mm pitch between pixels
  • Choice of LED colours available
  • Conforms to the European specification EN 12966
  • Interfaces to all software protocols

Variable Message Signs

Monkton Business Park, Mill Lane, Hebburn, Tyne and Wear, NE31 2JZ, UK. Tel: +44 (0)191 423 7070
Griffin Lane, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP19 8BP, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1296 673000

Hill & Smith Ltd trading as Variable Message Signs |  Registered in England No: 01270322 | Registered office: Westhaven House, Arleston Way, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands, B90 4LH